HSC Education Days

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Background: Learning methods utilizing the active learning model greatly improve learning and retention of complex information. With the COVID-19 pandemic, medical schools had to transition to a remote teaching format. Remote learning can be just as effective as traditional learning but requires effort from institutions to address technical challenges and faces difficulties providing higher cognitive skill development. This study attempts to examine medical students’ understanding of foundational principles of active learning and their perceptions of how well active learning facilitates learning in a remote vs in-person format.

Methods: A survey was emailed to the UNM School of Medicine Class of 2024 regarding their understanding of the different types of active learning, types of active learning better suited to the remote format, and experiences and preferences for remote vs in-person learning.

Results: Preliminary data included 31 survey responses (31% response rate). Regarding application of remote active learning, all 4 questions regarding communication issues related to the remote format had 58%-85% towards agree/strongly agree.

Discussion: Medical students can accurately differentiate different modalities of active learning. There is no clear consensus if active learning remotely vs in-person results in students feeling better prepared for assessments. Remote active learning is hindered by communication issues due to decreased peer to peer and peer to faculty interaction. Students were more likely to attend remote active learning sessions, yet preferred in-person active learning, indicating remote learning sessions were more accessible but has disadvantages hindering the overall experience.

Future directions

  • 1. Sending a similar survey to Phase One faculty at UNM School of Medicine, comparing results to student responses.
  • 2. Conduct a focus group to better understand student thought on remote vs in-person active learning sessions.



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